I’m making my list. I’m checking it twice…three times…maybe four.
As I’m reading about the tradition I am thinking over and over about the reasons I have turned away from the “church” in this country. The odd thing is that I’m not REMINDED of this when I’m reading it. It’s not as if I’m reading the doctrine and think, “oh hey THAT is why I shun organized religion…” Not at all.
I’m reading about the tradition and I’m looking for the smoking gun and I’m not finding it ,yet…or I’m finding it and it doesn’t bother me, yet.
This tells me some things about me. I’m not doing this for anyone else but myself and my relationship to God. I don’t see a disconnect between my hot button issues and my faith tradition. In the past I have left churches over these hot button issues.
Let me be clear about my two hot buttons…the treatment of GLBT folks and women in ministry. If you know me in person (or even through my writing) this will be completely unsurprising. I have one motto on these issues, “we all belong, so show me the love.” That’s our job.
I’m sure I’ll write more about this as I get into real conversation with actual people and yet even now, I’m not afraid of this ancient tradition yet, even knowing it’s “stance” on the ordination of women and acceptance of a homosexual relationship.
I’m guessing that it has something to do with where I started in this post…My song is love. If a doctrine requires me to hate or throw away someone then I’m out, no way. What I’m reading though isn’t that. The Orthodox church isn’t quoted on Fox News or MSNBC about their stance, they don’t grandstand about fearing the culture, they don’t endorse political candidates or make radical (and I judge unloving) statements in the media, they just…exist. They have their doctrine around this, namely that women have equal gifts but will not be ordained as priests or bishops and that the homosexual relationship is not God’s design for us.
I disagree with their thinking on both of those points, just to be clear. The question is, are these deal breakers for me? I don’t know yet. That remains to be discussed. The question to myself here is this, what would it mean to submit to the authority of this tradition? Is that possible to do and still remain….well….me? I don’t want to give up the good friendships and loving attitude I have toward the GLBT community. I don’t think I should have to, honestly.
So, that’s on my list of questions for Father G, right at the top. Also on the list (lower down):
do i have to wear a head covering?
what if i don’t feel like skipping my coffee to keep a fast before Divine Liturgy?
if my kids come and kick over the icons will we all go to Hell?
It’s a rich and varied list…and it’s getting longer every day.